This year’s Day of Archaeology coincides with the final day of the 2014 Portus Project field school excavations. This is the second year that the University of Southampton (www.southampton.ac.uk/archaeology) and the British School at Rome have run this training course for students from throughout the world. What brings us together is our interest in the maritime trade of Rome in the Mediterranean, the hub of which was the Imperial port of Rome, now a few kilometres inland from the coastline next to Rome’s international airport at Fiumicino.
The final day of excavation for the students was all about recording and checking excavation documentation, as there always seems to be 1 or 2 outstanding context sheets, however hard you try! My role within the project is to support the excavation through surveying, for which we use a range of techniques.
One recording technique that has become fundamental to the excavation, due to its size and complexity, is low level aerial photography. This Friday we were using a cherry picker in order to take oblique photographs of the excavation as well as vertical photographs, both of which are fundamental for standard recording as well as photogrammetry.
We’ve been using a range of photographic techniques on site this season (see James Miles) post. As the project was running an online MOOC at the same time as the excavation, we’ve tried to help participants by providing located 360 panoramic photographs (using a Motrr).
One area that we are exploring is regular low level site photography using a drone. We’re now using a DJI Innovations S800 Spreading Wings for our photography, mounted with a Sony DS-HSX300.
We’ll be do more recording this forthcoming week, using the drone to photograph the new findings in the shipyard and the Imperial Palace.